For the last six decades, two men from Nuuanu, Hawaii have been best friends. But only recently they discovered that their friendship was much more than skin deep. They are actually biological brothers. When they entered the sixth grade, Alan Robinson and Walter Macfarlane, who have a 15 month age difference, became fast friends. It was almost as if they were supposed to be friends or something. Their connection was instant and powerful.
Macfarlane never knew who his father was. And Robinson had been adopted.
And as these men grew up, they started to become curious about their ancestral history. So Macfarlane, who was ever curious, turned to DNA-matching websites to learn more about his family and where he came from. He had already tried looking for family members on the internet and through social media but did not have any success.
“So then we started digging into all the matches he started getting,” said his daughter, Cindy Macfarlane-Flores.
After taking the DNA test, Macfarlane saw that he had a match. Someone had the same X chromosomes. Their username was Robi737.
The connection was immediate. Robinson went by his nickname Robi, and he flew 737s for Aloha Airlines. His best friend was his brother.
Robison had been using the same DNA website to find out more about his family as well. Although they had been friends for six decades, they were only now learning that they shared this same curiosity about their pasts.
“It was a shock,” Macfarlane told KHON-TV.
Meanwhile, Robinson was overwhelmed now that he knew he had another brother.
“I had a younger brother that I lost when he was 19, so I never had nieces or nephews,” Robinson told the Honolulu station. “I thought I’ll never know my birth mother. I’ll never have any nieces or nephews.”
At a party on Saturday night, Robinson and Macfarlane told their family and friends about their connection. Everyone was overjoyed to learn that their family had just gotten bigger.
“It was an overwhelming experience. It’s still overwhelming,” Robinson said. “I don’t know how long it’s going to take for me to get over this feeling.”
Robinson already had a proliferation of fond memories with Macfarlane, so accepting their brotherhood was easy.
“This guy was, he was like an older brother all along,” Robinson told KITV in Honolulu. He recalled going diving together when they were younger. “I’d be making noise in the water splashing around. He’d be teaching me how to do it right. He’d always come out of the water with the biggest string of fish, and I had the smallest.”
“As it should be, you’re my younger brother,” Macfarlane said.
For years they shared the same interests and even finished each other’s sentences. They acted like brothers but had no idea they really were brothers.
“Did it ever cross your mind?” Robinson asked, according to KITV.
“You know honest to god. It never did cross my mind,” Macfarlane said.
“Never crossed my mind either, that’s what really amazing, we go 60 years,” Robinson said.
“But you know, yeah, yeah, but there were times when I did think, I look like Robby a little bit,” Macfarlane said.